By the Numbers: “The Summers of Carefully”

 

Writing flash as I do, it strikes me that the number of words in a piece only slightly exceeds the number of times I have to submit before the piece is accepted.

Alle’s famed comic hyperbole strikes again; The word count for The Summers of Carefully is 286. Right Hand Pointing was its 40th submission.

puppy swimmingCarefully was inspired by a facebook question from a fellow writer: “You guys, how do lifeguards smell?” Without hesitation, I posted that which I made up: “Lifeguards smell like the wind and dead fish.” Then I edited to add, “But not enough to matter.”

Like I said, 40th submission. There were a number of re-writes in there. One–when Cousin Traci arrived–bumped the piece from under 50 words to its current length. That revision did not *pop* the way many ideas do for me. I remember staring at the first paragraph for a long time. It was so boring.  Cara on the beach with only her fantasies. She needed a foil. A square foil.

I started submitting it. I got some good feedback–including one lovely rejection from Tahoma Review, and another excellent note from The Vestal Review. But I never felt the piece was the best it could be. Twice, I stopped submitting so as to work on it.

The second time I sent it to its room, I called on the ineffable Carole L. Glickfeld, with whom I work when my fiction flummoxes me. At that point, the puppy was a one-liner. “They watched him rescue a puppy. Awwwwww.” Remi was not yet identified. The puppy-lifeguard was an amorphous “he.” (Really bad choice; really bad. Never do that again. Never, never, never.)

puppy elf
Puppy Elf writes for you.

Carole was curious about the puppy. “Not enough coming from the puppy.” I worked on the puppy part and then put it away for awhile. Weeks later, I re-read it in preparation for sending to Right Hand Pointing. I forgot I made the change! It was as if the puppy elves did the work for me. How kind!

 

Alle “All Right!” with fiction pub in “Right Hand Pointing.”

It’s up, it’s up! My newest flash fiction in the tiny but impressive RHP.

Lifeguard ChairThis image is not from the publication. I chose it to inspire you to read “The Summers of Carefully.” (Heh heh.) RHP’s format is a single scroll adventure. If you don’t want to read the rest of the issue–which I highly encourage you to do–scroll down ten pieces (including the editor’s letter) and enjoy.

The editor, F. John Sharp, said about “The Summers of Carefully”:

I really like the craftsmanship of this. And it’s sweet and feels real.

Huzzah for Another Acceptance: Fiction

Lifeguard Chair
The Summers of Carefully

Man, when it rains around here …

Although this newly accepted short-short is about the beach**.

Actually, it is about healthy lust.

Actually, it is about female sexual autonomy. And imagined sexual normalcy. And, oh, the way lifeguards smell.

The Summers of Carefully: July or August in Right Hand Pointing, one of those small, electronic publications I discussed in my previous post–the sort of  journal that could reach millions of readers if I promote correctly.

**Actually, this newly accepted short short is also about the beach.